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Storm Henri disrupts US concert comeback

We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert, the star-studded show held in New York’s Central Park on Saturday 21 August, became the biggest victim of Hurricane Henri, the tropical storm which battered New England and the north-eastern United States over the weekend.

The concert, first announced by the mayor of New York city, Bill de Blasio, in June, was put together by veteran label exec Clive Davis in association with Live Nation and was to have featured performances by Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, Paul Simon, the Killers, Jennifer Hudson, Run DMC, Carlos Santana, LL Cool J, Andrea Bocelli and more. However, the 60,000-strong crowd were asked to leave Central Park early – at around 8pm, during Barry Manilow’s set, and before Springsteen, Simon and the Killers could take the stage – as the heavens opened and lightning filled the sky.

While most tickets for the show were given free to New York residents, VIP tickets were available, priced between US$399 and $5,000, according to AP.

De Blasio acknowledged that “while it’s disappointing that tonight’s concert had to end early”, the lightning meant that authorities had no choice but to end the show early: “the safety of everyone in attendance had to come first.”

Other events were also called off after the state of New York declared a state of emergency on Saturday morning ahead of Henri (now downgraded to a tropical storm) making landfall.

Eagles’ highly anticipated return to Madison Square Garden, part of the band’s Hotel California tour, on Sunday (22 August) was cancelled by the arena, as was a Jason Mraz show at Mohegan Sun Arena (10,000-cap.) in Uncasville, Connecticut, the same night.

Elsewhere in Connecticut, Kiss’s show at the 30,000-capacity Xfinity Theatre in Hartford will now take place tonight (23 August) after being postponed from Sunday due to the hurricane.

Sporting events such as the PGA Tour golf tournament, which is in New Jersey, also cancelled or postponed scheduled fixtures.


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15 injured after lightning strikes Le Vieux Canal

A French music festival was cancelled early on Saturday after at least 15 attendees were struck by lightning.

The sixth Festival Le Vieux Canal, in Azerailles in north-eastern France, was pulled by local authorities after several festivalgoers suffered severe burns in what the festival describes as a “very violent thunderstorm” on the afternoon of 2 September.

“We are disappointed not to have been able to offer you the spectacle that we had promised, but safety takes precedence over everything else,” says festival tech Guillaume Mellé in a statement. He adds that his thoughts are with those injured.

“Safety takes precedence over everything else”

All Saturday evening performances, which including slots by electro act Pony Pony Run Run and pop five-piece black Black Bones, were cancelled.

According to the BBC, the victims were hit directly by the lightning and include children, who were sheltering in a tent during the storm. A woman in her sixties and a 44-year-old man are believed to be in critical condition.

Several high-profile European festivals, including Germany’s Rock am Ring and Southside, were cancelled last summer after attendees were struck by lightning. Southside/Hurricane 2017 were also threatened by storms, although both went ahead largely as planned.


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